Divorce coach Patty Tanenbaum helps people overcome what can be some of the most difficult times of their lives. As we know, divorce is not easy, however, with some basic tools, support, and an understanding Patty can help you to move through the divorce process a little smoother.
By offering an 8-week program to help you with the pre-divorce, during the process or post-divorce process, Patty highlights that this is not a typical “bashing group” about ex relationships but rather a group to help transform your life into the life you deserve to be living. By the end of the 8 weeks, Patty encourages you to manifest all the tools needed to create the life you desire, alongside exploring an understanding of how to stand strong.
Can you Introduce yourself to us?
I’m Patty Tanenbaum, I’m a mom of two amazing children, a chef and the founder of 2nd Life Club where I am a divorce coach, helping people through some of the darkest days of their lives. In my personal life, I tend to be very active, I am a runner and have just completed my first Ragnar race and I play tennis on a USTA team. I also teach culinary classes to a senior centre as I love cooking/teaching and love seeing my regulars in class excited to learn new recipes.
Can you talk us through the path you have paved to where you are now as a divorce coach?
Yes, I can. My path started with a separation with my ex-husband, it was a very challenging time for me as my life, as I knew it, began to change. Long term friendships vanished, anger from my children began and trying to work things out with my ex meant I had a lot on my plate. I felt abandoned and lost and realised that I had to reinvent myself to create the life I wanted.
I began doing all the things I loved and forgot about during my marriage and I started with hiking. In hiking, I met my dearest friend Janine, Janine was going through a divorce and her story was my story so we became sounding boards for each other and helped each other in dark times. Through the hikes I met some incredible people, most of them were going through a divorce, it was like I was a magnet to divorced people. I began helping them through hard times and that’s when I decided to put together a program to help others in a divorce.
What was the startup process like and what was it like to work with my first client?
In my marriage, my ex-husband handled all our “personal” business from accounting to finances so once our divorce started and we were both on our own I knew I had to figure out new dimensions in my life. I ventured out and found Steve who was a financial advisor, soon enough I gave him the title of “Virtual Husband” as he was always there to offer help from finances to referrals for plumbing issues. Steve caught on about me helping others with divorce and found a sponsor for me, he pushed me to finish my program so he could pitch it to a sponsor and my business began to take off.
You always remember your first in life, my first “client” was Cindy. Cindy heard about the program and reached out to me, she was struggling with life issues, like getting out of bed in the morning (this is a real struggle) to being present with her daughter. Instead of working the steps of the program as it was intended, we worked on where she was in life and in time she was back to finding joy in little things. With baby steps she found her inner happiness, she discovered how to bond with her daughter and today she is happy in the relationship.
How are you working with your clients to master life and what tools are you providing to make that life transition a little bit smoother?
This is a great question. I recently sat with a divorce attorney who has worked on many divorce cases in his life and he is very successful. He brought up this question and my answer to him was simple, I too went through a divorce, I understand the hurt, pain, depression, loss and anger. With the loss, anger and depression, I can relate to my clients in the way that a therapist or attorney cannot understand. I provide easy tools and I have created a program that gets results. I do leave my one on one clients with homework, if my clients are not doing the work, they will not move forward in getting results so I cut them loose as I want to work with people who want to do the work.
What are the 5 stages of grief during a divorce?
The 5 Stages of grieving during a divorce are the same as with grieving life however the biggest difference is the person/life you are grieving is still alive and active. So when a person is going through a divorce they have to mourn the loss of the marriage, family and life as they knew it and they still have to do the work around the loss.
I go over the stages in full detail but here is a basic idea:
- Denial and isolation. Just like in death, divorce is a loss. In this first stage you may find yourself separating from children/family/friends
- Anger. In this stage, you may become angry towards your ex, your family, your ex’s family or even yourself.
- Bargaining, this is the stage that you begin to question yourself with questions like “did I do the right thing” or “could I have saved the marriage”
- Depression, this is common to go through in a divorce. What is sometimes confusing is that depression is part of the grieving stage and not a condition. (I do not treat depression so if a client is depressed I do refer them to a therapist)
- Acceptance, this is the stage where clients can look back, have done the work and can accept where they are today. Like my first client Cindy who was able to move out of the divorce and into a great relationship
It’s very easy to work through a stage and then end up back in that stage at some point as life is always throwing curve balls. In working through the stages with my clients, it’s important to understand where they think they are in the stages and then I like to remind them that it takes time to move out of the stages, they may also repeat stages, this is all very common.
The best client project to date you have worked on where you saw overwhelming results?
My best client project was working with Howard. Howard was a strong businessman, had 2 children and a dog. His divorce left him empty and shattered, he stopped working, stopped taking care of himself and was stuck in the denial and isolation and the anger stage of grieving. Howard lost his job and was unemployed for 2 years when he came to me, however, he came to me with an open mind and was willing to do the work. It was a challenge for both of us as initially he was very closed off and really had to work through the anger of where he was. But he did do the work and every week he showed up with his homework done, no matter how much I challenged him. Because he had been out of work for 2 years, he had a hard time finding work, he also had a hard time connecting with people or even just basic communicating. I knew I had to work through his ego issues and encouraged him to get a job doing Uber. This way he could set his own schedule, he would be bringing in money and it would help him to learn to connect with people. We spent a few weeks with him on this phase as communicating and being kind was very difficult for him (he was stuck in anger). Over time he managed to enjoy doing the Uber and started applying to jobs, he’s now in San Francisco working full time and loving what he does.
Can you share with us a particular career highlight so far?
There is not one thing that stands out. What I can share that I began coaching clients prior to me signing my divorce papers and felt this was unfair to my clients so in 2016 I stopped coaching clients. Last year, April 2018, I relaunched my site and am coaching clients via phone/Skype, I have met some amazing woman/men and I am so grateful for the career that lays ahead of me with coaching.
What are your preferred marketing methods?
Honestly, it’s a word of mouth that helps me with my clients. I have found that when a person is going through a divorce they too become the “divorce magnet” with others going through a divorce so I tend to work within the circle of friends. I just launched a Facebook private group and I am active on Instagram but I find social media to be more fun being creative than bringing me, clients.
What does #BEYOUROWN mean to you?
In life, we never know what will be thrown at us or how we will get through it. Be Your Own, is a great reminder to: Be Your Own – person (stay strong), Be Your Own – critic (let go of judgment), Be Your Own – answer (self-awareness), Be Your Own –financial advisor (know where you are always), Be Your Own – self (answer to you only)
Where are you looking to expand to next throughout 2019?
I am working on building out my client base, I’m creating a podcast (The Divorce Rehab) and creating a webinar to help clients; this will offer a more affordable option. I am also working with a yoga instructor and we are working on a retreat, here in California, before the yearend. In 2020 I will be working on my first book!